The goal setting process is about helping your loved one think about what is important to them and developing a vision of what they would like their life to be. Research shows that working towards established goals promotes hope and enhances motivation.

What Are Recovery Goals?

Recovery  goals  are  objectives  that  a  person  sets  that  are  related  directly  to  their  recovery (mental health-based goals), and that may have been put on pause due to their mental health condition (work, family, physical health, social life, etc.) Recovery is not one size fits all. It is important to have a discussion with your loved one about what  is  most  important  for  them.  For  instance,  one  person’s  goal  may  be  to  live  independently once they have reached a certain point in their recovery, while another person may be content to live with a roommate or caregiver. It is important to remember that you are not there to do the work for your loved one as a caregiver. Goal setting should be a collaborative process as you assist your loved one through setting specific and challenging, yet attainable, goals. Once goals have been set, being supportive and encouraging of the choices that your loved one has made can help them stay on a path to recovery.

Caregiver Tips for Goal Setting

When trying to help your loved one come up with goals, think about the steps they will have to take in order to achieve their long-term objectives. Consider smaller actions and short-term goals that could be related or require the same skill set—anything you can think of that is realistic for the now. For example, if your loved one has indicated that receiving their GED is a long-term goal, suggest they start reading 30 pages per day of material from a topic that interests them and go from there. Furthermore, finding a topic that interests them may be a short-term goal in itself.

Finding out what is important to your loved one may be difficult at first. Here are some example questions to get the conversation going:

Being Supportive

Here are some tips for being a supportive caregiver during the goal setting process.